After engaging with the Kings earlier in the season about a possible Dewayne Dedmon trade, the Hawks didn’t necessarily expect to circle back to those discussions at last week’s trade deadline, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who says the team felt no real pressure to acquire another center following the Clint Capela trade.
However, Sacramento got back in touch and general manager Travis Schlenk saw an opportunity to land a player he liked, along with a couple second-round draft picks.
“They came in last minute,” Schlenk said of the Kings, per Kirschner. “The way the deal came together was we anticipated Jabari (Parker) was going to probably opt in (to his $6.5MM player option for 2020/21), so we weren’t going to be taking on that much money (by adding Dedmon’s $13.3MM salary for ’20/21).
“Now you’re taking on only $6MM, and we got two seconds. That’s really what drove us. I don’t want to say that we weren’t looking to do it when it came around, but we jumped at the opportunity because it was a small value money-wise, and we got two assets in it.”
Dedmon, who played well for the Hawks before signing with the Kings during the 2019 offseason, struggled in Sacramento and lost his starting role early in the season. According to Kirschner, there’s a belief in Atlanta that the big man was so unhappy with the Kings that it affected him on the court. Atlanta will rely on Dedmon and Capela to help improve an interior defense that has struggled this season.
Let’s round up a few more Hawks notes…
- Schlenk had been eyeing Skal Labissiere since his days working as an assistant GM in Golden State, says Kirschner. The Hawks were able to acquire Labissiere from Portland on deadline day in what was essentially a salary dump, but it sounds as if the team will have interest in keeping him beyond this season if he looks good down the stretch. The big man can become a restricted free agent this summer.
- John Collins‘ name popped up in trade rumors leading up to the deadline and there was speculation that the Hawks may start looking to move on from the former first-rounder if they acquired an impact center. However, Schlenk downplayed that notion, as Kirschner details. “John has been playing with Damian (Jones) all year,” Schlenk said. “His skill set is the same (as Clint’s). John has been playing with Bruno (Fernando) all year long. This isn’t the first time that John has played with another center. I think the public is making a lot more out of it than we are.”
- Asked directly if Collins is considered is still considered a priority for the Hawks’ long-term future, Schlenk responded, “Yeah. John is one of our best players.”
- The Hawks’ deadline moves left them with an open spot on their 15-man roster. According to Kirschner (via Twitter), one option being considered is promoting two-way player Brandon Goodwin to a standard contract. Goodwin has averaged 6.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 24 games (13.9 MPG) for Atlanta this season.